Wednesday, April 9, 2008


On today’s KAXE Morning Show Scott Hall and I talked to Jane Grimsbo Jewett about chickens. Jane is a farmer from Willow Sedge Farm in Palisade. She has produced many local food interviews for KAXE. In addition to farming, Jane also works for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.
Jane will present a free workshop about raising chickens and selling eggs next Tuesday April 15th at 4 p.m. at KAXE’s studios, 260 NE 2nd St, Grand Rapids Minnesota. Call KAXE if you’d like to attend (218/326-1234)!
Here are a few things Jane told us:
She just bought 100 chicks at L&M Fleet Supply. She chose Black Australorps because they lay well and are winter-hardy. Australorps were developed in Australia. They have glossy black plumage that has a greenish-purple sheen. She said Barred Rocks are also a good laying breed.
Jane told us chickens will be old enough to lay when they’re 5-6 months old.
Chickens will produce eggs in the wintertime if they receive 14 or more hours of light per day and have a little warmth in the coop.
Most layers produce eggs for 1 to 1½ years. Some people allow the chickens to molt and produce eggs another season. The average life span of a laying hen is 3-4 years, although some pet chickens can live much longer.
There is a growing demand for local eggs. Jane knows of some businesses that are looking for a reliable source of local eggs.
The cost of eggs at the grocery story has gone up considerably, due to the cost of grain and transportation. It is becoming possible for local egg farmers to meet the prices of non-local factory farms.
Jane feeds her chickens some grain all year, although the chickens can also forage. She notices that the chicken yolks become a deep orange color when the chickens start eating young shoots of grass.
If you’re thinking about raising chickens, come to the workshop!

1 comment:

wabana said...

Hey Jane! Any idea where we can buy home-grown, processed whole chickens to eat?